Hopping off the air conditioned Spanish metro at station Catalunya and journeying up the escalators you will be greeted with the hustle and bustle of the lively city Barcelona, directly in front of you is the tree lined, commercial Ramblas Street. This district is highly touristic with all your holiday gimmicks, from restaurants to souvenir shops. Walking down the street you will encounter people from all over the globe visiting and exploring the wonderful city. While the ramblas main street is fun to roam down eating or drinking there is rather expensive and not recommended. Instead, walk down some side roads to find hidden bars and cafes that are more authentic and cheaper.
Once reaching half way down the ramblas you can go left to find the medieval quarters. The architecture is phenomenal, with sculpted characters systematically placed across the buildings, grand arches and columns. There is a free museum here which is fascinating. It outlines the change in agriculture from the neolithic period to at present in Spain. The museum hosted some fantastic artefacts.
Walking down the Ramblas again if you take a right turn you will arrive at the Boqueria market. Cured meat carcasses hang in immaculate rows on the front of carefully organised stalls. While fresh fruit and vegetables are ordered in regards to there vivid colours and eclectic array of shapes and sizes. The irresistible smells of freshly baked pastries, fried scampi and spiced tapas dishes provide wonders to the nostrils. The hardest thing is choosing what to eat for lunch and don’t forget to find a scrumptious freshly squeezed fruit juice.
At the end of the Ramblas you will find the beach. In the evening when it’s cooler it is the ideal place to have dinner. We were fortunate enough to meet my Spanish friend who I met in Mexico several months back. It was great to be reunited and shown around. We strolled along the sea front watching people run, bike, walk and Rollerblade past. Then it was time to tuck into a salmon pizza, fried mozzarella sticks and some lovely sangria. Eating, watching over the sea and catching up was the perfect way to spend our first evening.